No. 725

601.6411/2–551: Telegram

The Charge in Hungary (Sherer) to the Secretary of State 1


377. Full text note omitting opening closing paragraphs just received from Foreign Office follows:

“1. The American Government’s measures subjecting to limitations the members of Hungarian diplomatic mission in the United States, its employees as well as dependents of these persons,—is of [Page 1443] retaliatory character.2 Application of retaliation by US Government in connection with Hungarian Government’s recent arrangements as to members of all diplomatic missions in Budapest, lacks however all legal foundation. The step taken by Hungarian Government regarding diplomatic missions in Hungary, wholly respects the principle of equal treatment and does not imply any prejudicial discrimination concerning American Legation. At same time Government US has taken highly discriminative measures against Hungarian diplomatic mission in America.

“2. American Government’s above-mentioned step cannot be compared with Hungarian regulation on account of very fact that while this regulation does not affect normal functioning of American Legation in Budapest, American Government, by its arrangement, renders the functioning of Hungarian Legation in Washington highly illusory. It must be pointed out namely that the area within which free movement without permission is assured to persons pertaining to diplomatic missions in Budapest, includes a considerable part of territory and population of Hungary and the political, economic, social and cultural center of country. At same time US Government intends limit persons pertaining to Hungarian Legation Washington to an area including only a negligible proportion of country’s territory or population situated far from its commercial and cultural centers and especially from New York where the main organizations of the UN are established. Hungarian Ministry Foreign Affairs wishes to stress especially the fact that overwhelming part of persons of Hungarian origin or mother tongue living in US in very large number are residing outside perimeter foreseen by American arrangement in question.

“All that has been exposed above makes it plain that enforcement of above-mentioned regulation actually does not aim at achieving reciprocity but rather at rendering impossible normal diplomatic functioning of Hungarian Legation in America. On other hand this measure is nothing but the continuation of unlawful steps by which, as for instance by the closing of Hungarian Consulates, US Government even heretofore considerably paralyzed the functioning of Hungarian diplomatic mission.

“On grounds of foregoing Hungarian Ministry Foreign Affairs, on behalf its government, energetically protests against US Government’s unlawful measure bearing retaliatory and discriminative character. The Hungarian Ministry Foreign Affairs, by declaring unlawful and repudiating as whole the American measure in question, wishes to point out at same time that, taking into consideration circumstances exposed in paragraph 2 of present note, it refutes beforehand a parallel being drawn between the application of American restrictive measure and that of Hungarian regulation issued in connection with diplomatic missions in Budapest,—as referred to in State Department’s above-mentioned note.

[Page 1444]

“The Hungarian Ministry Foreign Affairs asks the honourable Legation to bring circumstances exposed in present note to attention of Government of US”.

  1. Repeated to Paris, London, and Moscow.
  2. Regarding the restrictions under reference here, see Bonbright’s memorandum to the Secretary of State, supra.